Zac and River Applebaum go wild on "Nova" during the show's finale.
Zac and River Applebaum go wild on "Nova" during the show's finale. Credit: Courtesy of Oscar Moreno

Last weekend at Ventura SATX, the trio that is psych-synth sensation Verisimilitude tore down the house and built it back up again for their 10-year anniversary show. And considering the band’s oldest member is a mere 23 years young, the evening called for reflection amidst the celebration.

A sea of psychedelic swirls swam upon the reflection of irises in the crowd, lost in the pulsation from the hyper-vibration of Zac Applebaum’s guitar, the plate-tectonics of Dakota Applebaum’s bass, and the syncopated simmer of Feliza Salazar’s drum kit.

“These are really amazing people, first of all,” said self-proclaimed “mega-fan” Nikki Huerta. “They’re like from another dimension. Their music makes me feel really happy.”

Huerta could be found in the nucleus of the black hole-like orb that became the crowd at stage front and center when Zac traded his guitar for Salazar’s bigger tom drum and voraciously tore into the crowd with the littlest Applebaum, 12-year old River, who took drumsticks to the skins and played the hell out of the band’s final song “Nova.”

“They just keep getting better,” said Huerta, who rocked a T-shirt emblazoned Verisimili-Crew, backing up her wild-eyed dedication. “They’re really getting their stuff together, promoting themselves more. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next.”

The band rocks out from all sides.
Verisimilitude rocks out from all sides. Credit: Courtesy of Oscar Moreno

Regardless of how many times you’ve seen the performance, described by many at the show as “pure bliss,” it’s impossible not to get lost in the musicianship and craftsmanship that goes into the complexity of the contemplative riffs and electric epiphanies.

“I’m feeling pretty honored and ecstatic,” said Zac, who rarely spoke but used a triumphant fist pump and fierce yell to unite the adoring audience throughout the evening. “I could’ve been blown out into any place in the world, and yet I entered into a place surrounded by beautiful people.”

Zac is three years younger than Dakota, and when the two long-haired, beard-donning brothers go head to head in a mountain of momentum on stage, something indescribable occurs.

“My big brother showed me how to love people, showed me how to make music, along with my sister (in music) Feliza Salazar,” Zac said. “You see so many bands trying to find people to jam with and we just had the privilege to never have to do that.”

Verisimilitude has cut their teeth on the main stage before most bands even get close to having their teeth straightened, and their longevity stems in great part from the compassion and gratitude that audiences feel in their performance and in their personalities.

“… This is amazing. We get to make people happy. It’s unbelievable,” Zac said, “most amazing band in SA, such a loving dude. I’m unfathomably grateful. I can’t use words to describe it. It’s ineffable.”

Verisimilitude band manager Jeannette Muniz was up close taking photos and videos throughout the show, then behind the scenes selling merchandise and savoring the celebration. With one decade under their belt, Muniz didn’t shy away from speaking to a 20th anniversary show.

“We took about four months to plan this show, but the blood, sweat, and tears came over this past decade,” Muniz said, beaming with pride for the group she has come to love deeply. “Those three have put in the effort and the drive, and they are more than confident that another 10 years will go by and they will continue to develop and spread their love throughout the world.”

Brothers Applebaum capture the vortex of sound.
Brothers Applebaum capture the vortex of sound. Credit: Courtesy of Oscar Moreno

Muniz, the “band momma” for V-tude, has earned the respect of the band by traveling with them on recent cross-Texas tours, seeing all sides of the ensemble and developing a deep respect for them in turn.

“I’ve never met a band so positive, so realistic, so grounded and ambitious,” said Muniz, who has seen her share of bands in her 10-plus years in the San Antonio’s music biz, especially since she’s hosted hundreds on 91.7 KRTU’s Live and Local radio program. “If you’re going to be in a band for 10 years, then you need to be touring constantly, practicing once a week, putting out content – this is a band that has that easily.”

While Verisimilitude is already a decade in when many bands are just getting started, Muniz said they can’t rely too heavily on that fact if they really want to succeed.

“It gives me another perspective and I’m able to apply that to other bands,” she said, which would be a standard that could make a great impact on the music community in San Antonio. “You can do this because these guys are in their early 20s and they’re able to do it effortlessly.”

In case you missed this show, or want to see more, check out Verisimilitude at Imagine Books and Records’ Fifth Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 20. 

Adam Tutor

Adam Tutor is a Trinity University graduate, a saxophonist who performs with local bands Soulzzafying, Odie & the Digs, and Volcan, and a freelance music contributor to the Rivard Report.